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The Evil Within Review
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:35pm 08/05/08 | 54 Comments
It's been a long journey to get here. We've done countless write-ups and news pieces in the build-up to its release, but finally we have our GTA 4 review up. It's part of the celebration of AusGamers 2.0, and part of our promise to you to bring you the best editorial we can.

Dan and I have been slogging it out, as we expect you have, since April 29 and still know there's more and more to find and uncover. At any rate, this is definitely one of the bigger games of the year, so head on into our review, play with the new AGN 2.0 features and be sure to let us know what you think.

Click here for our massively in-depth review of Grand Theft Auto 4.



gta ivgrand theft auto ivgta4grand theft auto 4review





Latest Comments
d^
Posted 04:43pm 08/5/08
nice review, enjoyed the read.
WetWired
Posted 04:44pm 08/5/08
Game of the motherf*****g year
Beanith
Posted 05:01pm 08/5/08
I like the the fact you took your time playing the game before submitting the review unlike some other reviewers.

The bit about the Euphoria tech is pretty cool to know what's running things.

Now to wait for Zero Punctuation review
ctd
Posted 05:06pm 08/5/08
Best review yet, didn't blindly hype it to a perfect game. Playing the PS3 version, the frame rate is nothing to write home about which I guess is understandable considering how much is going on a one time. Heh I was driving on a river-side walk way with chairs and water fountains while being chased by 4 stars my frame rate was below 10 I would say.

also needs a lobby system for MP.
figjam
Posted 05:33pm 08/5/08
yawn... I can tell a fellow uni student. You clearly have the ability to use lots of words to get a little across. But no one is marking this assignment
Steve Farrelly
Posted 05:44pm 08/5/08
Actually, I'm not a uni student
reso
Posted 05:52pm 08/5/08
5-0 his face
sc00bs
Posted 05:54pm 08/5/08
figjam: yawn... I can tell a fellow uni student. You clearly have the ability to use lots of words to get a little across. But no one is marking this assignment

more like man-assjam
TWODOGSz
Posted 06:09pm 08/5/08
Good review. I appreciate the time and depth put into it, particularly your comments about the multiplayer that are mysteriously absent from all those perfect 10 reviews!

Personally I'd award the game a 9.5 with my major issues being the terrible online lobby system and matchmaking, which makes Halo 3 look like a God; an entertaining but terribly cliched story; and a lack of true gameplay innovation.

Characterisation, attention to detail, Euphoria, the soundtrack and the vast multiplayer modes are the biggest positives.
Dan
Posted 06:25pm 08/5/08
*points to the do not feed the trolls sign*

Nice read steve. Although I don't totally agree that the lack of a boundary-pushing dynamic game world takes much away, I definitely agree with GTA4 not being a 'perfect game' despite those many rushed 100% scores.

There was plenty of things that I didn't like while playing through the singleplayer, not all of them technical. The storylines and the characters for instance didn't do a thing for me this time around, while I still have fond memories of the likes of Lance Vance, Donald Love and Phil Cassidy.

The thing about these games is that they just offer so much that it's a massive ask to polish every single aspect. But because they offer so much you can almost ignore the imperfections because you're way too busy with all the parts that absolutely rock.

last edited by Dan at 18:25:56 08/May/08
Kamma
Posted 06:29pm 08/5/08
I found it interesting that you basically pointed out in your last sentence that GTA IV was pretty much as dynamic as a game can get at the moment, yet in "Things We Didn't Like" say "Still not nearly as definitively dynamic as this style of game should be".

Still, overall good review.
d0mino
Posted 07:01pm 08/5/08
Great review, but you misspelled 'testicle' in the 26th paragraph.
Phooks
Posted 09:28pm 08/5/08
Nice review, yet again steve.

Since there's no comments section for it, I'd like to point out that as a kid, I played 50cc ALL THE TIME.


and I still found it hard sometimes. :(
SE1Z
Posted 11:46pm 08/5/08
Great review and as others have said, well done for playing through the game BEFORE submitting it. It was worth the wait.

If I didn't already own the game, your review would have made me grab it. :)
infi
Posted 11:55pm 08/5/08
It was a good review, albeit a little verbose. Many points were repeated ad nauseum.
Bah
Posted 10:00pm 11/5/08
It was a good review, albeit a little verbose. Many points were repeated ad nauseum.
rec
Posted 04:02am 12/5/08
I've spent just under 20 hours playing GTA IV, and quite frankly I'm too bored to even finish it. It's really not much more than the GTA we all came to love in 2001 with the third in the series. I played GTA 3 for months on end, sinking in hours upon hours every day, but I simply can't see that happening with this incarnation. Sure, IV sports better graphics and more in-world distractions... but those distractions couldn't fool me into wasting time with them (ie; the friendship status system).

I'm with the reviewer; clearly this is a great game, but hardly worth the "best game ever" hype. I was happy to revisit on April 29th, but it's just too much of the same, and I would rather go play something fresh and hang out for the next title in the series that will actually revolutionise the franchise once more, like its predecessor did.

Bring on 2011 and the next generation of console hardware I guess, because clearly the power to do that isn't here yet.
Khel
Posted 12:34am 13/5/08
I dunno what you were expecting, its still GTA, they're not going to radically change up the formula. Personally, I can honestly say it has far exceeded all my expectations, and every time I play it it finds a new way to suprise and impress me. And I love how wonderfully things like the cop missions, the taxi missions, the exotic car collecting missions, etc all fit so organically into the world, instead of being tacked onto the side. I've probably spent more time doing courier missions, taxi missions, getting cars for Brucie, hunting down Liberty City's Most Wanted, engaing in illegal street races, stopping crimes in progress, and getting pissed and playing bowls/darts/pool with friends than I've spent doing the actual story missions :)
fpot
Posted 12:50am 13/5/08
Right now I am getting the pigeons and stunt jumps out of the way.
sejo
Posted 07:22pm 15/5/08
pliz send me this great game.am a poor dude!
reso
Posted 07:28pm 15/5/08
I agree with all the above posts.
Idol
Posted 07:31pm 15/5/08
me too
Midda
Posted 08:11pm 15/5/08
Khel, how many of the Most Wanted things have you done? Because I did the entire list in one 25 or so minute sitting. I thought I was supposed to get an achievement when I did them all, but I haven't :(

Though I don't think I've opened the third island yet, so maybe that's why.
BassMan
Posted 09:46pm 15/5/08
I'm getting the 2nd ending at the moment, then I'll look into multiplayer...
Boxhead
Posted 10:07pm 15/5/08
Funnily enough I haven't seen a copy of GTA4 in a shop over here in england, its on permanant sold out. and any stock that does come in is snapped up quick smart.. I was looking to get it for a laugh (and it won't be censored) but since I can't find it and im off on a long trip soon looks like I'll have to wait til i get back to aus..
Khel
Posted 10:35pm 15/5/08
Theres a list of "Most Wanted" criminals for each island, when you use the police computer on different islands, you get different lists.

then I'll look into multiplayer


Multiplayer is ridiculously fun, I'm only something like 30% of the way through the actual story missions, because I keep getting sucked into multiplayer games :P
Beanith
Posted 06:54am 16/5/08


Certainly an interesting review from Yahztee. The thing I miss most from GTAIV is the lack of hidden packages which unlock weapons/ammo at a safe house. Yes I know there are 200 pigeons but f*** that, you only get an achievement for finding all of the bastards.
Khel
Posted 09:15am 16/5/08
Theres hidden packages as well
Beanith
Posted 11:52am 16/5/08
Yes I know there are 200 pigeons but f*** that, you only get an achievement for finding all of the bastards.


As I said Khel, I know there's pigeons but you get nothing but an achievement for finding all 200. I miss the Rewards you got from collecting all the hidden packages in the other GTA, especially Vice City where you got weapons delivered to your safe house after having found x number of packages.
trog
Posted 12:07pm 16/5/08
I've only just started playing GTA4 and while I'm massively impressed by the visuals and the sheer scope of the game, nothing about the actual gameplay has blown me away yet - as Khel said, it's just the same old formula.

I like that they have the cabs in and the mission retry system - it makes retrying failed missions SO MUCH LESS PAINFUL. But I still feel like that the game is designed in such a way that I almost HAVE to fail some of the missions once or twice before I can figure out how to go through them.

I'm only a couple hours in though.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 12:55pm 16/5/08
I've found no reason to need weapons at the safe house. In fact, the only thing I buy from weapon shops is armour and maybe the odd grenade. I find that cops are really ineffective at actually busting you, instead opting to send you to hospital.
ctd
Posted 01:18pm 16/5/08
I didn't get busted once the whole story. You just run away if you press X on ps3 when they try to arrest you. Losing guns when arrested = bad.
maxe
Posted 01:26pm 16/5/08
Losing guns when arrested = bad.


got rolled drink-biking with Dwayne and lost my deagle, was so pissed :(

can run away if they get you while you're on a bike
Khel
Posted 01:34pm 16/5/08
Yeah, thats actually one of the most broken things about the game imo. Since you don't lose your guns when you die, but you do lose your guns when you're busted, theres absolutely no time when you would EVER get busted. I would rather drive myself into a wall and kill myself if I can't lose the cops, than get busted. And even if you DO get caught by the cops, you can mash the A button to resist arrest and they'll shoot you dead. I don't know why they even bother with cops trying to bust you, its been made completely obsolete.
Thundercracker
Posted 01:41pm 16/5/08
Yahztee needs to learn2handbrake.
ctd
Posted 02:20pm 16/5/08
If you aren't up to the deagle yet in the story you can shoot an ammunation clerk, make sure he draws his pistol and bingo you got a free deagle.
trog
Posted 01:48pm 27/5/08
So I'm a little bit further on in the game now. I feel like I'm grinding though - the missions are too similar (both to one another and to previous games). I don't feel like I'm getting anything new and now I'm just playing to finish the game - I know I'll have more fun once the actual story is out of the way and I can get back to just f*****g around and exploring further.

Also, what is the rationale behind making it so the mission restart point is BEFORE you get to the destination?

So many of the missions seem designed in such a way that you HAVE to fail it once before you know what to do - its so frustrating to have to restart and go through some extended rigmarole just to get to the jumping off point. The phone message that allows restarts is a big step up from previous games, but I don't get why they don't make the start point AFTER you get to the destination? I mean, there must be a gameplay reason but I don't see it.
natslovR
Posted 02:17pm 27/5/08
trog should do the agn review, then agn would get extra dugg for being the first site in the world to not give it 10/10.
ctd
Posted 02:27pm 27/5/08
Have to agree with trog. The missions were all so similar and I had more fun in mutliplayer and doing random shizzle.

Also while it was good that they actually had a mission retry this time, the c**** could have cut out the travel part. taxi's are everywhere which is almost as good.
Dan
Posted 02:36pm 27/5/08
trog should do the agn review, then agn would get extra dugg for being the first site in the world to not give it 10/10.
You do realise you're posting in the thread about the review where it wasn't given 10/10 right?
kos
Posted 02:58pm 27/5/08
The phone message that allows restarts is a big step up from previous games, but I don't get why they don't make the start point AFTER you get to the destination? I mean, there must be a gameplay reason but I don't see it.

As much as this annoyed me too, I at least enjoyed the different ways the conversations in the car went on the way when you restarted the mission. Perhaps they were so excited about recording alternative conversations that they wanted to force you to hear them?

Also the fact that the conversations go differently sort of more reinforced the feeling that the game had gone back in time and not everything was just being repeated. In other words it made it felt less like a game function and more related to the world it was in.
trog
Posted 03:07pm 27/5/08
As much as this annoyed me too, I at least enjoyed the different ways the conversations in the car went on the way when you restarted the mission. Perhaps they were so excited about recording alternative conversations that they wanted to force you to hear them?
Yep, it definitely would be HEAPS more objectionable if it didn't have this feature.

Another thing I'm not really enjoying - the cut scenes. I don't know if it's just me, but I'm finding a lot of the voice acting a bit over the top and most of the dialogue fairly uninspired. I find myself skipping the occasional cutscene because they're simply not enjoyable enough to sit through and most of the time they make no difference in the missions.
kos
Posted 03:18pm 27/5/08
At the start I thought the accents of Niko and Roman were pretty poor and they actually seemed to lose their accent in parts (like when they were yelling).

I don't know if I'm just used to it now or if the voice actors got better as they progressed through recording sessions, but I don't notice it anymore.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 03:27pm 27/5/08
I too find the cut scenes and characters to be really average. Overall it feels as if this GTA is a step backwards compared to the previous couple.
Dan
Posted 03:29pm 27/5/08
Another thing I'm not really enjoying - the cut scenes. I don't know if it's just me, but I'm finding a lot of the voice acting a bit over the top and most of the dialogue fairly uninspired. I find myself skipping the occasional cutscene because they're simply not enjoyable enough to sit through and most of the time they make no difference in the missions.
I definitely found myself skipping a lot of cut-scenes. Although I think the voice-acting was fine, as I said earlier in the thread it was the characters and storyline that just didn't do anything for me. I just couldn't begin to give a s*** about anyone in the game, they were all just so bleh. Brucie was ok, but the other character's interactions with him (or lack thereof) made his cut-scenes just as much yawn.
kos
Posted 03:30pm 27/5/08
Brucie was ok, but the other character's interactions with him made (or lack thereof) made his cut-scenes just as much yawn.

Aaah so true! Brucie was by a long shot the standout character of the whole storyline.
Khel
Posted 03:32pm 27/5/08
Thundercracker
Posted 04:02pm 27/5/08
I have played the main story line through and I would have to agree that some of the cut scenes were pretty boring. No interesting characters or locations, just a basic "do this mission" briefing. Facial detail and animation was OK, but what bugged the s*** out of me was their hands. Its obvious they used motion capture on the body movement which looked really good. But the hands are stuck on like some wooden fixture without expression. And they seem to big (this could be me).

Some missions do stand out in my mind and different and fun, but they really needed to put more variety in. Standard chase car, kill dude missions (or kill dude, chase car) get boring fairly quick.

Having said that I found that they did an amazing job on the city and its surrounds. They should have leveraged the variety of locations for the missions and cut scenes.
orbitor
Posted 04:16pm 27/5/08
we are all just too jaded.
trog
Posted 04:28pm 27/5/08
I just couldn't begin to give a s*** about anyone in the game, they were all just so bleh. Brucie was ok, but the other character's interactions with him (or lack thereof) made his cut-scenes just as much yawn.
F*** yeh, Brucie is the only one I like watching. I wanted to kill myself whenever Little Jacob or his a****** rasta friends started talking though.

Totally agree re: characters, I just don't care about any of them and half the time I want to shoot them myself
VRBones
Posted 11:57pm 31/5/08
Picked up a PS3 recently with GTA IV and Guitar hero III. I think I've played ~3 hours of GTA, but GH keeps getting me back. I wouldn't mind getting into it a bit more, but I just don't seem to have the time when I'm in the mood for something like GTA.

Does the storyline get around to actual grand theft at some point? At the moment (bowling anyone?) it seems like you need to intentionally deviate from the plot and use prior knowledge of the series to do anything like what the original was about.
trog
Posted 03:20pm 02/6/08
Well, I finished this on the weekend and was thoroughly disappointed with the ending.

I found it hugely anti-climactic at best, completely confusing and boring at worst. I really lost interest in the overall story about 70% of the way through the game and ended up skipping a lot of the cut scenes, because (as above) they contained really uninteresting dialog and I had almost zero interest in the characters.

Overall I found this (gameplay wise) a big step down from GTA: San Andreas. I really missed parachutes, flyable planes, jet packs, tanks, cops on motorbikes, variety of objects to commit blunt trauma crimes with - the list goes on. Maybe I just haven't unlocked them yet but I really feel like there was wayyyyy more to do in GTA:SA.

I also really missed the little stats/RPG system GTA:SA had. I guess GTA4 has the achievements system but I just feel like that system is really vague and doesn't give me any direction to, well, doing anything.

I still haven't tried multiplayer but I hear its pretty cool, so I'll have to give it a bash.

Now the story is actually out of the way I'm finding it a lot more enjoyable to play - just screwing around doing the other little side missions and exploring the rest of the game.

Does anyone know what is up with the areas of the map that are built but have nothing to do there? Like the driving range and the amusement park - are they things that you can unlock by doing something, or will they be used as the basis for the DLC for the game or something?
orbitor
Posted 08:31am 03/6/08
I suspect they'll be DLC trog as from what I've read you can't unlock them in any way at this stage.
trog
Posted 09:30am 03/6/08
What about the prison? It sees really weird that it has all those guards but there appears to be nothing cool you can do there, like mini-missions where you break people out. I flew a chopper into the prison expecting all the guards to come after me and the only thing that happened was I accidentally landed on a prisoner and he died and that was it.
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